Why Isn't My Church Growing?

Bill Brinkworth

“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47

Although it may not be said out-loud, many wonder, “Why isn’t my church growing?” Here are some thoughts and biblical principles to use when examining why a ministry may not be growing:

Congregational numbers do not always indicate growth. Some of the churches with the largest audiences do not preach the whole truth from the Word of God. The preacher there knows if he did, fewer people would come. He knows if he preached what the Bible says about adultery, homosexuality, lying, drinking, temptations of this world, separation from ungodliness of this world, and put the spotlight on sin, people would be angered and not come back. So, the preacher does not preach on those things. He has sold the truth of God for popularity. People come to hear only his positive messages. They can leave feeling good; rather than convicted of their sin and disobedience. Yes, the number may increase, but few hear or do what God wants them to do. The watered down messages only produce weakened Christians.

Many churches rarely see people come forward to be saved, see a person scripturally baptized, or see many burdened enough to serve the Lord. No, a populated church does not always mean it is a growing church. There are so-called churches that are powerless; as II Timothy 3 reminds us: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” A Christian that desires to please God should not even attend those type of churches.

I have read of more than one mega-church that boasts of movie theaters, ballroom dancing, yoga classes, and huge auditoriums with services to “soothe your soul.” Their numbers may be huge, and many are certainly entertained; but seldom have they advertised biblically commanded practices such as soul-winning, tithing, serving, salvation, and baptism.

Acts 2 described a successful church. Its numbers did increase daily, but other important aspects showed they were truly growing:


The Acts 2 early church did not have the finished Word of God with them at the time. God did allow them to do things that are not for our church age in order to increase their faith (I Cor. 13:9-13). We today do have the completed Word of God and will not see all the types of miracles the early church did. We can, however, still see similar growth; if we follow their example in their attitude toward Christ.

Today’s church will grow if:


We are in the “last days” that the Bible speaks about. As it was prophesied, it may be harder to reach the lost and overcome the world’s temptations and obstacles. However, God is the same as He was in biblical days. He still desires and expects us to obey His commands.

The majority of those that are saved were led to the Lord by someone else, or by someone else’s work. If you were one of those led to the Lord by another, where would you be spiritually if that person did not put in the time to give you the saving message? If you are one of those, you should see the importance of one-on-one soul winning. Nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned that leading people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is the work of a pastor alone. We are all to pitch in and work. It is the work of God we should be zealous about to perform. If we all were of one mind to do the work of God He has left us to do, our church and Christianity would grow daily.

 “The great task of the church today is not only to get sinners into Heaven, but to get saints out of bed.” — Ralph W. Mitchell, The Evangical Christian

This article was featured in The Bible View #198.

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